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Posts

April 11, 2014

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2:19 AM | It now looks like 2017 is the earliest we could see a shortage declaration on the Colorado River
The latest Bureau of Reclamation monthly basin operating report, out today (the “24-month study”, pdf), makes it increasingly clear that we’re not going to see Lake Mead drop to levels that would require a shortage declaration in 2016. The shortage is based on Lake Mead’s surface elevation, and the trigger level is 1,075 feet above sea ...Continue reading ‘It now looks like 2017 is the earliest we could see a shortage declaration on the Colorado River’ […]

April 10, 2014

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8:33 PM | Coffee farms could benefit birds while lowering pests
Adding trees to coffee plantations could attract birds, and the pest control benefits they provide offset the production losses.
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8:16 PM | pulse flow progress
Courtesy of the folks at CILA, the Mexican boundary and water commission, the latest Colorado River pulse flow map shows water making it past the Laguna restoration sites in the Colorado River delta, continue its slow push toward the Sea of Cortez: Related posts:Updated Pulse Flow Map Following the flow Plumbing the pulse flow
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8:05 PM | Video Explains ITER Project in Under 6 Minutes
A new video on fusion produced for the Monaco ITER International Fusion Energy Days (MIIFED) conference explains the ITER project in under 6 minutes. Read more »
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8:02 PM | New Stanford Study Examines Geologic Impact of a Massive Asteroid Collision on Ancient Earth
A new paper attempts to describe a realistic picture of the unimaginable: a colossal cosmic impact that left a crater 500 kilometers across on the ancient Earth.
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8:00 PM | Will drinking tea get us thinking about soils? Yes, but only if you help us spread the word!
Taru Lehtinen PhD candidate at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland tmk2@hi.is The Tea Bag Index Project wants to create a global map on decomposition with the help of citizen scientists. We use teabags to collect vital information on the global carbon cycle. With our protocol (see our web page and […]
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7:46 PM | Weekend Reads: Big Bird Puppet Masters, Green Jobs for Ex-Cons, Mosquitos: to Kill or Not to Kill?
By Melissa Mahony Reared by PuppetsWhen the California condor population reached just 22 birds in 1987, conservationists took drastic measures to save the species, collecting every last wild condor and bringing them to the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos for breeding. The birds got to it. Problem is when they released the next generation into the wild, the birds had lost their wild ways. You see, instead of their real parents teaching them proper condor […]
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6:00 PM | Natural Gas, Solar Account for Most of New Generating Capacity in U.S. in 2013
Natural gas-fired power plants accounted for just over 50% of new generating capacity added in 2013. Solar provided nearly 22%, a jump up from less than 6% in 2012. Coal provided 11% and wind nearly 8%. Almost half of all capacity added in 2013 was located in California. In total, a little over 13,500 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity was added in 2013, less than half the capacity added in 2012. Read more »
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3:57 PM | ...and another record
Paul Hebert documenting the exciting findToday's post shows the way in which sampling programs launched for barcode programs can deliver unexpected surprises.Back in 2006 our institute decided to engage in the International Polar Year, a large scientific program that focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic and officially covered two full annual cycles from March 2007 to March 2009. Our contribution was to develop a comprehensive biodiversity inventory for a sub-arctic region, in our case […]
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3:56 PM | EU Project to Test Fuel Cells in Private Homes
Over the next four years, fuel cell-based micro CHP (Close Packed Hexagonal) units will be tested in 1,000 private homes as part of the EU project Ene.field. Read more »
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3:31 PM | It’s Time for Africa’s Green Revolution, Focused on Corn
A look at the steps required to spark a green revolution in Africa.
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3:31 PM | In Las Vegas, an acknowledgment that growth is gone
You can’t understand water in the west without understanding urban growth patterns. They’re joined at the hip. Here, in a single graph, is the explanation for the Vegas announcement yesterday that its two main water agencies are laying off 7.5 percent of their staff: Henry Brean explained it thus: The Southern Nevada Water Authority and ...Continue reading ‘In Las Vegas, an acknowledgment that growth is gone’ » Related posts:A change in the Vegas business […]
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2:58 PM | Reducing air pollution is key to public health
Air pollution caused by industry and other human-made sources is a determinant of health that continues to be largely overlooked despite its disastrous consequences. In 2012 the World Health Organization estimates that seven million people died as a result of pollutants in the air people breathe, this includes both indoor and outdoor air quality. While […]
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2:40 PM | Study Looks at Fuel Economy Costs of Common Practices
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have tested a sport utility vehicle and a compact sedan with various configurations, including underinflated tires, open windows, and rooftop and hitch-mounted cargo. Read more »
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2:25 PM | Smart Car Tipping Is a Thing Now, Fox News by the Numbers, Sea Monsters on Vacation
By Jason Bittel Faux News: According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, climate change coverage by the Fox News Channel in 2013 was only accurate 28 percent of the time. The rest of the time, the network either understated the reality or effects of climate change, misled the debate, or flat-out dissed on climate science. But wait! Before you get too discouraged, you should know that this is actually an improvement for Fox. In 2012, the network’s […]
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2:00 PM | Invaders in the Great Lakes
By Marguerite Huber I grew up in Chicago, where Lake Michigan, or simply “the lake” as we locals refer to it, is a part of everyday life. I swam in it. I ran next to it. I drank the water from it. I even paddle boarded on it. As fond as I am of Lake […]
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1:50 PM | El Niño Looks Increasingly Likely
The odds that an El Niño will develop by summer appear to be getting stronger. In a report released yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology raised the odds of an El Niño developing by summer (winter in the Southern Hemisphere) to greater than 70 percent. And in his monthly analysis, Klaus Wolter of NOAA’s Earth […]The post El Niño Looks Increasingly Likely appeared first on ImaGeo.
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1:38 PM | Flexible Plastics Turn Vibrations Into Electrical Energy
Kui Yao and co-workers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore have discovered a way to give lightweight polymer vibration harvesters a hundredfold boost in energy output—a finding that may help to eliminate manual battery recharging in microsensors and mobile devices. Read more »

Lei Zhang, ., Oh, S., Ting Chong Wong, ., Chin Yaw Tan, . & Kui Yao, . (2013). Piezoelectric polymer multilayer on flexible substrate for energy harvesting, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, 60 (9) 2013-2020. DOI:

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Editor's Pick
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1:09 PM | Killifishes Killed Off: 2 Fish Species May Be Extinct in the Wild
Is it time to add two more species to the list of recent extinctions? New research indicates that two critically endangered fish species may now be extinct in the wild following the destruction of... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:53 AM | The Colorado River is no one thing
Photographer John Trotter on the Colorado River: When they opened those gates on (Morelos) dam and let water back into the main channel on the river, it kind of engaged those people. It brought them back into the mainstream of all the other people who are living along it in Moab or Grand Junction or ...Continue reading ‘The Colorado River is no one thing’ » Related posts:“water hoarding” on the U.S. side of the border Minute 320? A river means different things to […]
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1:30 AM | During Long, Dry Summer of Drought, Nobody Wins
Water managers are walking a tightrope this year, balancing three competing needs: how much water to deliver to people and agriculture, how much to provide for wildlife and how much to save for next year, in case it’s just as dry.
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1:00 AM | Natural Parks Define American Cities
With almost all of my career (and most of my adult life) spent working in or around city parks, I was recently surprised to learn an astonishing fact. In American’s largest cities, more than half contain park systems that are … Continue reading →

April 09, 2014

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11:55 PM | Even New York Drivers Wowed by a White, Winged Commuter
An odd moment in which a white pigeon races commuters on a New York highway seems a little less odd after some Googling.
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10:14 PM | New York’s type foundry district
Tobias Frere-Jones: I re-read Maurice Annenberg’s “Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs”, tracked down business directories of the period, and spent too much time in Google Earth. But I was able to plot out the locations for every foundry that had been active in New York between 1828 (the earliest records I could find […]∞
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9:47 PM | What’s Next OnEarth
By Douglas S. Barasch, Scott Dodd Dear readers, We want to share some important news with you about changes to OnEarth: this fall we’ll be launching an all-digital version of our award-winning publication. That means our summer print issue will be the last delivered to newsstands and mailboxes. We remain committed to publishing powerful, engaging stories in bold new ways that we believe can reach more readers than ever. And we think the most effective […]
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8:00 PM | Can You Identify These Cities From Their Light Signatures?
Fun quiz by Rose Eveleth for Nautilus. (I missed number nine, but at least I my guess was a city in a similar biome.) When you’re done, come back and see if you can tell urban from rural. ∞∞
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7:12 PM | Scientists Use Trees to Make High-Tech Supercapacitors
Based on a chemical discovery by scientists at Oregon State University (OSU), it appears that trees may soon play a major role in making high-tech supercapacitors for energy storage. Read more »

Luo, W., Wang, B., Heron, C., Allen, M., Morre, J., Maier, C., Stickle, W. & Ji, X. (2014). Pyrolysis of Cellulose under Ammonia Leads to Nitrogen-Doped Nanoporous Carbon Generated through Methane Formation, Nano Letters, 2147483647. DOI:

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6:49 PM | White House Climate Data Initiative Addresses Climate Change Through Open Data
On March 19, 2014, the White House launched the Climate Data Initiative (CDI), part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan launched in June 2013.  The Climate Action Plan is the Administration’s blueprint for domestic and international efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change and reduce carbon emissions.  The CDI is meant to spur … Continue reading »
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6:16 PM | Barcodes to validate Mitogenomes
mtDNA (image 'stolen' here)Today I found an article published in Mitchondrial DNA which tackles a problem that I have encountered myself in a couple of situations. Unfortunately, the article is hiding behind a paywall even for me at a university with rather good library access. This is particularly frustrating given the rather important message and recommendations provided in the publication.The researchers deal with the issue coming from the misidentification of biological samples used for […]
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6:04 PM | GWEC Expects 47 GW of Wind Capacity to Be Installed in 2014
The Global Wind Energy Council launched its Global Wind Report – Annual Market Update (pdf) today, updating the status of the global industry, along with market projections for the years 2014-2018. Read more »
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